Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mexican Minestrone

Mexican Minestrone
When I received this recipe via email from Tori Ritchie, I knew I had to try it.  It has some yummy and healthy ingredients - garlic, chopped cilantro, a chipotle pepper, garbanzo beans, chicken rice, and a squeeze of lime juice.  Another plus for this soup is that it comes together quickly.  You start by cooking a chopped onion and  diced carrots in vegetable oil.  Add garlic, chopped cilantro, a chopped chipotle pepper. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.  Add some chicken broth, water and garbanzo beans.  Bring to a boil and simmer  for 20 minutes.  While the soup is simmering you cook up your rice.  After the soup has cooked for 20 minutes add your shredded cooked chicken from a rotisserie bird and heat it through.  Season the soup with salt to taste.  To serve the soup, place some cooked rice in a soup bowl.  Ladle some soup over the rice and garnish with avocado and cilantro leaves.  Be sure to add a lime wedge to each bowl. It is amazing the taste a squeeze of lime adds to the soup.

This soup is has a little heat to it but it is delicious.

Mexican Minestrone
From Tori  Ritchie


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
1 canned chipotle in adobo* chopped (or 2 teaspoons smoked pimenton "picante")
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cooked chicken (from a rotisserie bird)
1 cup raw white rice
1 large avocado, diced
1 lime, cut into wedges


1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-high heat and add the onion and carrot.  Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chopped cilantro, and chipotle and cool for 30 seconds.  Add the broth, water and garbanzo beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in chicken at the end to heat it through.  Season to taste with salt.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, bring 2 cups water to boil with a pinch of salt, stir in the rice, then cover and simmer until cooked, 18 to 20 minutes.
3. To serve, divide cooked rice among soup bowls.  Ladle soup over rice and garnish with avocado and cilantro leaves; add a lime wedge to each bowl to squeeze over the soup.

Note: Do not misread this as "1 whole can" chipotle in only want to use one of these fiery little beasts from the can; fish it out with a fork with some of the sauce clinging to it.

Serves 4

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sour Cherry Rice Pudding

Sour Cherry Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding is a classic and favorite dessert. Sour Cherry Rice pudding is a delicious slow-cooked dessert that is so simple to make.  Start by combining water, rice and evaporated milk in a 3 quart slow cooker.  Add sugar and milk and stir into the crock pot with a pinch of salt.  Cook for 4 1/2 hours on LOW. Toward the end of the cooking time, bring cherry juice - I used pomegranate juice to a boil.  Cherries and pomegranates are my favorite fruit combination.  Pour the hot liquid over the cherries and let stand for 2 minutes.  After the pudding has cooked for 4 1/2 hours stir in the cherries, some warm juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cook for 20 more minutes.  Turn the slow cooker off and allow the pudding to cool for about 30 minutes.   You are in for a delicious  dessert that is a family pleaser.  I loved the slight tartness of the cherries with the sweetness of the pudding.

Sour Cherry Rice Pudding
From Family Circle

Special Equipment: Slow Cooker


3/4 cup arborio rice, rinsed and drained
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cherry juice
1 cup dried cherries
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg


1. Combine 1 cup water, rice and evaporated milk in a 2-to-3 quart round slow cooker.
2. In a small saucepan, cook sugar and milk over medium-high heat for 1 minute or until bubbles appear around edges and sugar has dissolved.  Stir into slow cooker with salt.  Cover and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 hours.
3. While rice is cooking, bring cherry juice to a boil and pour over cherries in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes.  Drain, reserving juice.
4. Stir cherries, 3 tablespoons of the warm juice, the cinnamon and nutmeg into slow cooker; cover and cook on LOW for 20 minutes
5. Turn off slow cooker and allow pudding to cool, partially covered, for 30 minutes.  Serve.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Avocado-Banana Smoothie

Avocado-Banana Smoothie
My kids are in the middle of finals.  Only two more days to go and they will be done.  I try to make healthy meals and snacks for them.  If they had their way the would live on junk food and Starbucks.  I made them an Avocado-Banana Smoothie for their pick me up the other day.  At first, they were rather hesitant, avocado in a smoothie yeah right.  I told them just to take a sip and if they didn't like it they didn't need to drink any more.  They did try it and seemed to like it because when I went to clean up, the blender was empty.  I am glad I poured myself a glass and did not wait till later.   This was a very good smoothie and my first one with avocado.  It had a nice rich creamy flavor and the avocado and banana combination was perfect.  A  beverage that is nutritious, delicious, and easy.   This is a keeper for me.

Avocado-Banana Smoothie
From Martha Stewart


1 avocado
1 banana
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice (from 3 oranges)
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 to 3 cups ice


1. In a blender, combine avocado, banana, yogurt, orange juice, honey, and ice.  Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Healthy and Delicious

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creamy Mushrooms and Eggs

Creamy Mushrooms and Eggs
This week our assignment in French Friday's With Dorie was "Creamy Mushrooms and Eggs." I am a little late in posting but it is better late than never.    This recipe was right up my alley.  I love eggs and mushrooms.  Putting the two together had to be delicious.   This recipe is ever so easy and quick to make.  You start by cooking a finely minced shallot in butter and olive oil.  Once the onions are softened you add the mushrooms and  season with salt and pepper.  You cook until the mushrooms have given up their liquid.  Next you add some delicious heavy cream.  I love cream.  You cook the mixture for about three minues, pull it from the heat and add rosemary and mint.  You lightly toast some cahllah or brioche bread and top it with the mushrooms and poached eggs.  That's it.  You are in for a delicious meal.

You can find this recipe on page 163 in "Around My French Table."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Oven-Baked Churros

Oven-Baked Churros
Churros are a favorite treat at my house.  The kids love this pastry that is dipped in cinnamon and sugar.  I usually deep fry my Churros but was pleasantly surprised by  the wonderful taste of these oven baked Churros.  These Churros are  kid friendly in that they can make them on their own with little supervision.    My kids are always wanting to help in the kitchen.  You start with a package of frozen puff pastry sheets thawed.  The sheets are cut in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1-inch strips.  They are baked for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  They are then brushed with melted butter and rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  You let them dry on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and then they are ready to enjoy.  You find yourself biting into a deliciously light and flaky pastry that has butter, sugar, and cinnamon goodness.  Perfect for any Cinco de Mayo celebration or  just to eat anytime.

Oven-Baked Churros
From Southern Living Magazine


1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Unfold and cut puff pastry sheet in half lengthwise, and cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.  Place strips on a lightly greased parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Remove pastry strips from oven, and dip (I brushed mine) in butter; roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Let stand on a wire rack 5 minutes or until dry.

Makes 3 dozen

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chili Rellenos Casserole

Chili Rellanos Casserole
Chili Rellenos are one of my favorite Mexican dishes. This casserole is super easy to make and ever sooo good. It can be a main course, served for a brunch, or cut the casserole into small squares and use as a hot appetizer.  The possibilities are endless.   In this recipe, you can use fresh  green chilies, or canned.  Start by whisking together the eggs, milk, and taco seasoning.  Next place a layer of green chilies in the bottom of  baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese (mmm cheese) and repeat the chili and cheese layers.  Once you have finished your layers, pour the egg mixture over the chilies and cheese.  Place the baking sheet in a rimmed baking pan.  Fill the rimmed baking  pan with 1/2-inch of water.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Cool the casserole about 10 minutes before serving.
The casserole has a mild spiciness to it and a wonderful chili cheese flavor.  For a spicier casserole add a little more Taco seasoning and/or  use hotter green chilies.

Chiles Rellenos Casserole


5 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Taco seasoning
8-10 whole Roasted, peeled, and seeded Green Chilies about 1 (27-ounce can) whole chilies
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and taco seasoning.  Set aside.

3. Cut chilies in half and add a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
4. Sprinkle one cup of the cheese over the chilies.  Repeat chili and cheese layer.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the chilies and cheese.
6. Place baking dish in a rimmed baking sheet.  Pour ½-inch water into the rimmed baking sheet.
7. Place in a 325 degree F oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the casserole is completely set.
8. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings